Saturday, December 09, 2006

Your boss as the customer

As a legislative aide, you are probably on one of two sides. Either you are an insider to your Rep's politics or you are a technician. If you are an insider, then you've been there through the election campaign, the personal issues, the damage control, and the barbecues. You have the same beliefs and goals as your boss. Getting him to move on forward moves your own goals forward.

The other alternative is to be a technician. You are there to do the job, do it well, and then go home to your real life. What happens at work has no bearing on your own life. The advantage to this approach is that you can take care of business you don't necessarily believe in. It's just a job.

As a legislative aide, you need to make the decision early on. Are you going to be an insider or a technician? If you are going to be an insider, it is best if you become friends with your boss. Do be aware that if things go bad between you, things can turn bitter.

If you choose to be a technician, and remain emotionally detached from the job, you have the benefit of no obligations beyond your work hours. You don't have to put up with egos and bs. Just turn in your stuff and walk away. No strings.

It's a tough choice. Interns have the advantage that they have a limited time to work. The decision is made for them. In your case, however, it will have to be your choice. Good luck on that.
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